Not your average spaghetti bake recipe, this version is made with creamy arrabiata sauce for a savory, spicy comfort food dinner that’s full of flavor and so easy to make. Serve it with a side salad and crusty bread for a complete meal the whole family will love!
Why You’ll Love this Arrabiata Sauce
Spaghetti Bake Recipe
There’s nothing better than an easy pasta dish after a long day, and this
What Is Arrabiata Sauce?
Arrabiata sauce, also known as sugo all’arrabbiata in Italian, is a type of spicy sauce made specifically for pasta. The creation of the sauce can be traced back to Rome. Traditionally, it contains a combination of garlic, tomatoes, and dried red chili peppers that are cooked in olive oil and blended into a sauce. Today, there are many variations. However, they all pack a bit of spice and have a smooth, creamy consistency!
What’s the Difference Between Arrabiata Sauce and Marinara?
This is one of the most common questions we get, and for good reason! Made with a base of garlic and tomatoes, arrabiata sauce and marinara sauce are nearly identical in appearance. However, they can easily be distinguished by their taste! For example, arrabiata sauce is meant to be a bit more savory and definitely spicy. Meanwhile, marinara sauce is mild and sweet.
Ingredients You’ll Need
To create this
For the Arrabiata Sauce
- Cherry Tomatoes – This forms the base of the sauce, creating a savory, robust flavor.
- Shallot and Garlic – Part of the same family, these two work together to permeate the entire dish with a bold tangy, slightly sweet taste.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Used to coat the veggies, oil helps create caramelization and adds a good boost of healthy fats.
- Seasonings – Crushed red pepper, oregano, thyme, basil, salt, and pepper make the arrabiata sauce even more delicious.
- Heavy Cream – Stirred in right at the end, full-fat heavy cream creates an ultra smooth texture and the most luxurious mouthfeel.
- Spaghetti Noodles – Feel free to use any kind of
spaghettinoodles you like best. You could even swap them out for a different shape like penne or fusilli!
- Parmesan Cheese – Salty and savory, Parmesan cheese makes everything better.
How to Make the Best
To make this
- Preheat the oven.
- Peel the outer layers off the head of garlic, being careful to leave the garlic cloves intact.
- Add the tomatoes, shallot, oregano, thyme, basil, and crushed red pepper to a baking dish. Place the garlic in the center.
- Drizzle olive oil on top, and add a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
- Bake until the tomatoes burst and the garlic is fragrant and tender.
- In the meantime, cook the
spaghettinoodles according to the package instructions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.
- Let the baked tomato mixture cool slightly. Then, transfer the ingredients to a high-speed blender along with the heavy cream, and pulse until smooth.
- Place the blended arrabiata sauce in a large pot with the cooked noodles, Parmesan cheese, and pasta water, if needed.
- Stir to combine, and serve warm!
To create a complete, healthy meal, we love to pair this pasta bake alongside a side! And, of course, you can’t forget the bread. For a crowd-pleasing dinner, try serving it with:
Make Ahead and Storage Options
This recipe is great to make ahead of time for comforting meals all week! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days.
Or, place them in the freezer for up to 2 months. However, if you plan on freezing your
To Store Arrabiata Sauce
If you really want to plan ahead, you can prepare the arrabiata sauce in advance so it’s ready to go when you need dinner in a pinch! Once cooled, it can be kept in the fridge for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months.
When you’re ready to eat, the easiest way to warm your
What meat goes well with arrabiata sauce
If you want to bulk up this
What desserts go well with this recipe?
Honestly, there’s not a dessert that doesn’t go well with this recipe! However, some of our favorites include strawberry cheesecake chimichangas, atayef with whipped cream and pistachios, and Tiramisú Bread Pudding.
Can I use a store-bought arrabiata sauce?
Sure! Personally, we think the homemade version is so much more flavorful. But, if you want a super quick meal, a high-quality store-bought version can work, too. Just warm it up, and combine it with your noodles.
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Arrabiata Sauce Spaghetti Bake
- 1 whole garlic bulb
- 32 ounces cherry tomatoes
- 1 medium shallot (diced)
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- ½ cup loosely packed fresh basil
- 3 teaspoons crushed redd pepper flakes or to taste
- 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- 1 pound Barilla spaghetti noodles
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 425° F.
- Peel the outer layers of the whole head of garlic, making sure to leave the garlic cloves intact.
- In a 13×9 baking dish, add the cherry tomatoes, shallot, oregano, thyme, basil, and crushed red pepper. Place the head of garlic in the center of the baking dish.
- Drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes or until tomatoes burst and garlic is nice and tender.
- In the meantime, cook the pasta according to the package instructions until al-dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta water
- Remove the tomato mixture from the oven and let cool slightly. Transfer to a high-speed blender with the heavy cream. Blend until smooth.
- Transfer to a pot with the cooked pasta, Parmesan cheese, and pasta water, if needed. Stir to combine.
- Serve warm.
The recipe states one medium shallot, diced. The pictures show large chunks of red onion. Which is correct?
Good catch, we’ll adjust the recipe. Large dice works!